Thursday, February 3, 2011

Boston: Thaitation, twice

On Sunday night, after a very enjoyable meander around the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (highly recommended!), we walked across Fenway Park with dinner at Trattoria Toscana as our goal.  Unfortunately, Trattoria is closed on Sundays, so after a brief moment of oh-no-and-it's-so-cold-outside panic, we noticed a glowing restaurant right across the street.  And so, we had dinner at Thaitation.  After a long perusal of the long menu, we decided to veer away from pad thai and share two other dishes.  The first was tamarind tofu, which turned out to be a generously portioned tofu-and-vegetables extravaganza in a slightly tangy sauce.

We also hit a ball straight down the middle (see, that's a nod to Fenway Park...yeah?....ok, never mind....) with the yellow curry with chicken.  Standard, but tasty.

So, Monday night was dinner with fellow applicants and some current students.  It turned out that this group dinner had also been arranged at Thaitation, so I had another opportunity to visit (and, of course, assess) the food.  We started with shared appetizers: green onion pancakes (not particularly Thai or particularly good, but sure), chicken and beef satay (protein plus peanut sauce rarely fails), and spring rolls (both with meat and vegetarian).

We had a preset menu from which to choose our entrees.  Having gone with two curry/saute dishes the previous night and feeling comfort food-ish, I decided to order the "country-style pad thai," which sounded like regular pad thai.

I was looking forward to this dish, but was sorely disappointed.  In fact, I think this may have been the worst pad thai I have ever had.  The noodles were soggy and covered in some sauce that was one-dimensionally sweet.  Even though the portion was (again) very generous and there was plenty of bean sprouts, crushed peanuts, chicken and shrimp, the extreme sweetness left a really unpleasant feeling after I had eaten my fill (hey, I was hungry!).  Afterward, I really wished I had complained to the waiter and asked for something else.  The guy next to me also ordered the pad thai and also was not a fan.

The guy across from me ordered the drunken noodles, which came with lots of tofu and vegetables and was, though spicier than I could probably handle, actually very good.  I would still recommend Thaitation, but - interestingly - not for the pad thai!  Go, order a curry and/or another dish that sounds more interesting, and you'll probably have a nice meal.